Saturday 11 May was quite a special day in my life. I had been approached a number of times in the past asking if I would b prepared to stand as Master of the Association but had always said I would consider it when I retired. I have now retired and someone remembered! I know it is a cliché but I feel it is an honour and I will serve the Association to the best of my ability. It was lovely to have Alan, my husband and our two daughters Rachel and Miriam for support at the meeting.
On Monday 13 I joined the Seaford ringers, and friends, who were walking the Southdowns Way. This was their third day. We started this leg at Queen Elizabeth Country Park at 10 a.m. and arrived at Cocking around 4.30 p.m.. The weather was kind and made for a very pleasant 13 mile walk. We were entertained by a Chinook helicopter which made a number of circles around us whilst we were having an afternoon snack. Each day ended with a ring at a nearby tower and Monday’s was Midhurst where we were made very welcome by the local ringers who joined us in rounds, call changes and Stedman Doubles.
Tuesday, unfortunately the weather forecast was accurate and it rained
most of the day. We heard skylarks and cuckoos. We also heard a sheep in distress and three of our group were able to release it. Although the weather was inclement it did not detract from the lovely colours of the trees, bluebells, orchids, primroses and anemones. By lunch time my knee had decided that it had had enough. Fortunately we were crossing a road where there was a bus stop. However in view of the weather a taxi was ordered and took me Amberley, the end of the section for that day. Those of us who made daily visits made good use of the Tea Rooms whilst the others washed/showered/and changed in time to go ringing at the delightful anti-clockwise five at Amberley. Many thanks to John Bentley, Captain at Amberley, for providing a lift to the tower.
Wednesday 15 Alan and I joined the intrepid walkers in the evening at Upper Beeding where, again, we had some very good striking. Some sore feet and aches and pains were beginning to show but their eagerness was such that they were determined to soldier on.
The following Saturday was the Eastern Division’s meeting at Waldron. Alan and I had previously been invited to join Easthampstead’s outing into Kent where we met two of our grandchildren and Mum and Dad, Rachel and Andrew. Some very good ringing took place. We had to leave before tea to get back to Waldron in time for the business meeting. There were very few there and Diana Day, Eastern Division Ringing Master, took us through the agenda at a good rate. Members were reminded of the Vision meetings that will be taking in place in June and were encouraged to come along to have their say
Wednesday 22 saw a group of four at Hailsham Ringing Centre for a Plain Hunt/Bob Doubles morning. It is always pleasing when a tiny piece of information makes something more clear to a learner. Those of us who have been ringing for some time do tend to take things for granted. Leslie had a big smile when he realised that once you had passed a bell in plain hunt you forget about until it is time to turn around and hunt down to lead.
On the evening of the 22 I attended my first Committee meeting which was the Publicity Committee at Steyning. I have decided that I will not chair all of the Committees as the Officers know more about their subject than I do. Kathy (Howard) carried out her role in a very professional and friendly fashion.
On 24 a group of Ladies gathered at Dewby’s bells at Hooe to attempt some quarters. We only managed one but it was a good social time and Anne’s (Franklin) cakes are an excellent reason for taking part.
Last weekend was the Central Council meeting at Guildford. It is always good to meet friends that I have not seen for a while. Many of you will remember Ian and Ann Smith and Richard and Marion Newman. I did not attend the business meeting but instead walked the six miles from Guildford to Godalming along the River Wey. It was very peaceful with the sound of the water, the birds enjoying the sunshine and seeing an orange tip butterfly dancing around the flowers.
On the morning of 31 May I enjoyed a bracing walk on the top of the Downs with a group of Nordic Pole Walkers after which I attended the Service of Thanksgiving at Westham to celebrate the life of Roy Kirkcaldy. The bells were rung before and after the service. David gave an excellent insight into Roy’s life. The ringers joined the family for refreshments after the service.
It is very strange how the lives of David’s Father and my Father had so many things in common. Both were called Roy, lived until 90 years of age, and died in the same year. They both were in the Royal Air Force during the Second World War, both were ringers at Westham at different times and DIY enthusiasts and the list goes on....
If you have done so, thank you for reading my first Master’s Musings. I hope to produce about one a month.